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Study Abroad


Tropical Biology in Ecuador

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Iguana in Ecuador. Photo by SAU Professor Richard Robertson.

This course is now accepting applications for the 2016 May term. 

Course:  BIOL 321, Special Topics in Field Biology (three credits)
Prerequisite: One semester of college-level Biology 
Instructor:  Amy Blair, Assistant Professor of Biology
Dates:  May 23 - June 12, 2016 (subject to change) 
Primary Location:  Quito, Cuenca and the Pacific Coast in Ecuador
Price:  $4,940 (tentative)

Program description

This international study abroad course is designed to give students broad exposure to the biology of the tropics. Ecuador is an ideal location for such a course because of the incredible number of unique habitat types and immense biological diversity. During the course, students will spend time in different regions of Ecuador, exploring and learning about tropical cloud forests, tropical rainforests, the páramo, dry tropical forests, and mangroves. The course ends on the Pacific Coast, where students will learn about the unique ecosystem and organisms that inhabit this region. During the course, students will design and conduct biological research in tropical habitats. Additionally, students will experience and learn about the kind people and vibrant culture of Ecuador by, for example, visiting local markets, participating in a day of service, and traveling to a cacao farm.

What's Included

  • Share of Instructor/Support Person expenses
  • Roundtrip airfare 
  • Housing
  • International health insurance
  • Transportation in Ecuador

What's not Included

  • Meals
  • Personal baggage fees
  • Souvenirs and spending money

How to apply

Application deadline - November 15, 2015
Step 1: Complete the online application.
Step 2: Fill out a Liability Form. Return your completed Liability Form to the Center for International Education (Lower Cosgrove).
Step 3: Submit a $500 deposit.

Payment deadlines and instructions

  • November 15, 2015: $500 deposit due
  • December 15, 2015: $1,000 commitment fee due
  • April 15, 2016: remaining balance due

Payment details

  • The $500 deposit is refundable ONLY if you are not accepted or if the program is canceled.
  • If you are accepted, all payments are non-refundable after each payment deadline.
  • All payments are deducted from the total program cost.
  • Failure to meet payment deadlines may jeopardize your place in the program.
  • Credit card users will incur additional service fees.
  • The final payment is non-refundable after April 15.